Deputy Premier and and Health Minister Paul Lucas and Member for Maryborough Chris Foley talk with Renal patient Tom Aitken and his wife Denise at the Maryborough Base Hospital last night.
Deputy Premier and and Health Minister Paul Lucas and Member for Maryborough Chris Foley talk with Renal patient Tom Aitken and his wife Denise at the Maryborough Base Hospital last night. KARLEILA THOMSEN

$5m Maryborough Hospital upgrade

MARYBOROUGH Hospital's time in the wilderness is over.

The Queensland Government revealed last night that the hospital was a vital piece of its health network and pledged almost $5 million in new funding to improve its services.

Deputy Premier and Health Minister Paul Lucas announced a new multi-million dollar satellite renal unit as well as a 22-bed rehabilitation and sub-acute care unit for the hospital and pledged to have them open before the middle of next year.

"These very important initiatives were identified in a review of Fraser Coast health services, which I committed to in November last year," he said.

"I know that renal services are a core priority for the Fraser Coast community, a fact this review confirmed.

"What's more, local Member Chris Foley has been a strong advocate for renal services on behalf of the community."

The new $3 million, six-chair renal means that next year Fraser Coast residents will be able to receive their dialysis at Maryborough or Hervey Bay hospitals.

"The $1.8 million, 22-bed specialist rehabilitation unit will not only provide first-class services for those patients requiring care, it will free up acute beds at Maryborough and Hervey Bay hospitals for patients who need an acute bed in hospital," Mr Lucas said.

"I am here to send a clear message to the people of the Fraser Coast that the Hervey Bay and Maryborough hospitals have a very solid future.

"The Queensland Government is committed to continuing to provide safer and better co-ordinated services across the Fraser Coast."

The review of health services in the region determined Hervey Bay Hospital would continue to provide the majority of acute services while Maryborough Hospital will be developed and enhanced to provide the majority of elective day surgery and become a rehabilitation hub.

"This means some services, such as the Intensive Care Unit, maternity services, paediatrics and neonatal care will continue to function from Hervey Bay Hospital," Mr Lucas said.

"And it means the Maryborough Hospital has an important future in the development of safe and sustainable health services on the Fraser Coast."

The review also highlights the development of a new $8 million, 13-chair oral health facility to be built near the Hervey Bay Hospital - more than doubling the size of the current facility.

"And the $4.27 million pathology lab planned for the Hervey Bay Hospital is expected to be completed mid-2011," Mr Lucas said.



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